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Fears of ‘community backlash’ preventing Inn from the Cold from securing new space

Inn from the Cold needs to be out of its current location by the end of the first week of January, but the homeless shelter still doesn’t have a place to go.

Jan Schulz, the shelter’s executive director, says their landlord is giving them an extra week past the Dec. 31 eviction date, which means Inn from the Cold will take in people through Christmas.

However, a new location hasn’t been found, but it’s not for a lack of trying.

<who>Photo Credit: Inn from the Cold

The shelter found a willing landlord with a suitable space, but the City of Kelowna and BC Housing had fears about community backlash, which prevented the Inn from leasing the new space.

“Sadly, the criteria the new location would need to meet pretty much eliminates any and all opportunities,” explained Schulz.

“At the end of the day, and despite all the talk, it seems no one has an appetite to give a hand up to Kelowna’s most vulnerable.”

Schulz says the Inn is out of options and she sees no way to prevent having to send people out onto the streets to start 2019.

<who>Photo Credit: NowMedia

She maintains that not all homeless shelters are run the same and the community shouldn’t automatically expect them to have a negative impact on the neighbourhood in which they operate.

The Inn has held a relatively low profile at its current location and even needed to send someone outside to help the media find the shelter when they came to visit.

“I truly believe that if some Good Samaritan were to give us the chance, they would find that their trust is not misplaced,” Schulz said.

Although hope of finding a new lease for the start of 2019 is fading, Schulz is still asking anyone that might be able to help, even temporarily, to contact her at jan@innfromthecoldkelowna.org.



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